Hey friends, so I have an exciting announcement! I took over as producer for the 2014 Bloomington Trashion/ReFashion Runway event after creator and producer Jeanne Leimkuhler announced her resignation. I am absolutely thrilled to be working on this event, it means so much to me and my friends and I'm flattered to be warmly welcomed to this commitment. What a fantastic experience this will be! Over the years I've made friends with other 'core' Trashion people, friends who are now my committee. This is a group that as far as I understand, have been with this event from day one-they are passionate, creative, thoughtful, productive, and forward moving. I just want to dive right in and get started! The main event will be held near Earth Day 2014, and we'll know the official April date sometime next week after we book the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Please follow me and my blog as well as the official Trashion website
to learn about the progress of this event and how to participate! We will begin updating with the information for the 2014 show later this fall. I can't wait to produce such an incredible event with these wonderful people, what an honor!
I just keep having these wonderful learning experiences. I don't want it to end!
So moving forward, I've got a new title, a huge 2014 project, a fresh summer coming, my own art exhibit that requires me to learn completely new skill sets, and all of these anxious emails from high school students. Where do you start? I suppose that makes for great upcoming blog content, huh!?
Let's start TOMORROW!!!
I'm interested in taking an artistic tour of Bloomington, because it's a town where public art and community participation continues to be successful. I'd love to walk the B-line, visit the plethora of galleries and art venues, and campus. I'd love to walk downtown, dipping in and out of alleys to catch quirky hidden homes, hidden landscapes, and vibrant graffiti. Who wants to do this with me? We'll make a day of it. High school students? The Minshall team? My friends? I'm still motivated to bring more public art to Lawrence County, and I believe with my whole heart that we are just on the horizon of that happening. Let's go inspire ourselves....who's in?
Before I sign off here, I just want to leave this little hat tip to my G+ community, who learned last night that at least one person in the world thinks that deer urine cured his Melanoma. Sheesh, folks....you. are. CRAZY.
I'm beginning a few new adventures this year, and I hope they bring me the experiences I've been after. Ever since I left design school, I've missed constructive critique groups. Sounds terrifying, and it was at first, but I grew so much learning about myself and the others in my group through our honesty and observations. Ever since I 'grew up', I've missed that angst-y alone time I had when I was a teenager. I hatched some fantastic ideas during that time, ones that might have taken me years to follow through on, but I saw them through. I miss that productivity, that incredible feeling of pride that comes when a project is finished and presented. I love what I do as a photographer, and I am proud of the work I do for others, but there's something about an experience that requires long nights, big decisions, problem solving, planning, and an audience to please that delivers such an incredible reward. I get close to these feelings after the Trick-or-Treat booth that sees an estimated 300 kids every year, and the Sugar and Spice event pays off as well when the little girls begin to arrive. It's an incredible feeling, and I want to work like that.
Many years ago, I gave a friend an interview about being young and trying to 'do my thing' in the real world. The interview was going to be a part of a newsletter, and I'm not sure anything actually ever came from it to be honest. I remember this interview because she had asked me the simple question "What do you do?" I didn't want to say I was a photographer because I felt limited by that description for some reason. I wanted to be so much more than that. I love photography, I feel like I do a great job with it, but it's not EVERYTHING to me, you know? When I began the events like the Exposure Arts pop-up shows (2010, 2011, 2012) I started to feel inspired again, and from that came the Trick-or-Treat Booth, then Sugar and Spice, then the runway shows......after each event, I'd get a little flavor of what really makes me tick. Would you call that a producer?
I have been so grateful for the friendships, both personal and professional that I have made. Tonight I'm meeting with some of my local friends and professionals to scout out a location for an upcoming video production (my first ever!) and working with this team has been a dream and I can't wait to see what we put out there. Make sure you come to our show at the gallery, Friday July 26th at 5pm, the Wiley Center for Art, one block north of Bedford's Square (14th and J Streets). This production will be one of the many features for this show. Tomorrow night, I meet a committee that is welcoming me as the producer for their event. I'm absolutely thrilled to be in these shoes, I feel like a sponge, more than ready to put faces to the names and listen to their experiences so that the next year of production can be just as fabulous as their previous years under their former producer. I'll feel more comfortable talking about this event and what it is after I meet everyone tomorrow, so be expecting that post soon.
It's funny to think that when I was younger, I had this odd impression that I had to choose what I wanted to "be" and stick with it, now, I'm 30 and feel like the world is at my fingertips. I could do anything. ANYTHING. I couldn't be more excited for these upcoming opportunities, and I've only got room to grow. Today, I stumbled upon this blog post and really enjoyed it. Check it out
, "10 Ways Being a Theatre Major Prepared Me for Success, fromTtom Vanderwell.
Who's Mother doesn't love having great photos of her kids being just the age they are? I love being able to share a little taste of what it's like to be the mother of these two precious children...this session really captured their individual personalities, I can't wait to see these framed and on the walls in my home! Thank you Daron and Brenden for my beautiful, purple handmade Mother's Day cards, I love you both so much!
Marlee Abigail shows off her beauty mark while she models a patriotic set from Center Stage TuTu's earlier in April.
Peyton sells this military ensemble
I took some time in April to photograph several darling little girls for the Spring/Summer 2013 for Center Stage TuTu's
and BOY ARE THEY PRECIOUS!
CST is ran by my good friend Kathryn Lewis, and I could never be as creative with tulle and ribbon as she is. Check out her Facebook page
to see all of the custom TuTu's she has made in the past, from Toy Story costumes to special occasions like holidays and birthdays.
This year, she invited another great friend and GRR Exclusive Client Beth Melvin to bring her sewing skills to her Spring/Summer '13 line. They worked together to make the military sets for Marines, Navy, and Army; Beth began designing and sewing the tops to match the skirts to create a very polished collection.
Other Spring and Summer items from Center Stage include precious frilly pettie rompers, lace leggings, silky bloomers with satin bows, and hair accessories that flower, sparkle and shimmer.
Lanie wears this Patriotic set perfectly.
Vani sits pretty in a red and white set from CST.
Last night, Kathryn, Beth and I pulled together our first ever "Reveal Party"; we invited the models and their families out to view the images from our sessions altogether and to help themselves to our incredible snacks and punch. (Just sayin'.....we're multi-talented ladies!) I loved listening to our guests ooo and ahhh as the images appeared and disappeared, I hope we can do this again for the next season!
Amy and I worked together earlier this week on her set, "Clean". Special thank you to GRR Exclusives Danny and Megan for allowing us to shoot on their beautiful property. This Spring creek water really wasn't bad!
It's been gorgeous outside, and I'd like to do some photos this weekend and the next two weeks. I'll offer on location sessions to folks who book these days with me for $80, as much time as we need, and $20 for a disk with 5 images on it, Lawrence County and Bloomington locations. Anyone interested? My regular rates and print/product prices are listed on my services page
. I don't really like running specials, but I've got something I'd like to raise a little bit of money towards.
Thank you all!
My friend, Tommy, already missed by so many.
For myself, today is going to be one of "those" days. I think that could mean something different from person to person, a day when everything falls just a little short, a day where everything seems a little extra silly, but for me, today is a day where everything is just a little too real. All week, I knew today would be a very emotional day, beginning with an extremely personal shoot with a private client, on set we are symbolizing her past struggles and her fight to be the beautiful woman she is today and while she won't physically be naked, this work will be so personal that she will be standing in front of me as if she were. I am thrilled to freeze time at this milestone in her life and to be thankful with her for her strength and dedication, and I know she will look back at herself in these images one day when she needs strength to keep going and remind herself of who she has become, and who she still is.
I will also be hitting the field pretty hard this afternoon with Laura Thorne. (Yup! I still do that!) She has an exciting new home, in which she cleared enough land to set up for outdoor fitness including tires to hop through, ropes and freakin' scary ladders to climb, a beautiful grassy path to run, weighted ropes, huge tires for us to flip, dip and push-up on, and a TRX hooked up to a tree. Now, I'm not dreading the workout, I'm not exactly super pumped about it either, so you are spared a health and fitness lecture from me this morning. This workout will be emotional for me because I have already committed to give it everything I could possibly have in memory of my friend and former personal trainer who was killed in a car accident on Sunday.
This was absolutely devastating news, I worked out with Tommy five, six days a week for months and months. He took me from kettlebell swinging and running with the biggest loser groups to Crossfit crazy and being competitive. Taking fitness photos of Tommy was a blast. I made him do pull-ups and push-ups with a 40lb chain on his back foreeeeeeeever. He finally caught on to what I was doing and called me out for my cloaked attempt at fitness payback. I worked so hard when I worked out with Tommy, and it's because he watched for me on my laps and yelled for me to pick it up if he thought I was slowing down and occasionally when we'd come up with our our Crossfit-like routine, I'd smoke him every other time and we'd just laugh and high-five (and maybe collapse on the ground out of breath). It was a fitness fantasy of mine to be able to just crank out pull ups like it was my job and it was Tommy who made me hop on the bar first (pictured above) and to my surprise but not his, I had beautiful strong pull ups. It's funny how it takes someone else to make you realize some things about yourself, isn't it? And that's what Tommy did for me. I was never one to be fit or to work out, and when he inherited me from swinging kettlebells with Jonathan I was still surprising myself with the stuff I was strong enough to do while Tommy always looked at me like "Why couldn't you do that? Of course you can. You're here everyday."
What a great friend.
So today, while Laura's yelling at us to switch stations and telling me to pull up harder on the ladder and to dig deeper on my dips, I'm going to pretend Tommy is there as well, clapping at me to keep running, no walking...yelling at me to grab the heavier weight, to do that sloppy set of burpees over....all of the wonderful things you pay your friends to yell at you while you're trying to get fit. And I'll probably laugh. And cry. I'll probably be all over the place and a big, soppy emotional mess today. But that's okay, isn't it? I'll work extra hard today and let my emotions run shamelessly all over my face because afterwards, I have to face Tommy for the very last time. And this is why today is just going to be "one of those days".
Today is Lauren's birthday, and I'm wishing her the best! We just spent some time together earlier today at her son's baseball game, and just as it can be pretty amazing to realize where we are now in our lives, and it's so much fun to remember where we've been. Our friendship began in high school, being two girls crushing on the same dark headed boy that sat in between us. Instead of being jealous of each other, we worked together and included him in most of our nonsense conversations. (We still paid attention, Mrs. Blackburn, I promise! Grades first!) When I began my underwater adventures, it was Lauren that sent me photos on MySpace of a dress that ended up being exactly what I wanted, and when the day came, she swam with me, Erin, and Ashlee for hours even though it the water was unusually freezing in the middle of July.
Real friends right there...let me tell ya.
There's so much more that we've been through together, things we can express to each other with just a glance. You know, I even fouled up big time by announcing the baby's name to her entire family at her baby shower last year and she didn't even get mad. Instead, she hugged me and said it was a "perfect reveal". (Really, no one told me it was a secret!) Mani's, pedi's, photo shoots, baseball games, giant chicken statues, engagement & wedding, art shows, wine and canvas, fake names and Halloween parties........I haven't just gotten closer to Lauren, I've gained her entire family as friends. I love all of you guys, and thank you for embracing my family as your own.
To sum it all up, I hope you have a wonderful evening Lauren. You've been a great friend to me and you've brought wonderful people and memories into my life for me and my family to always have.
Happy Birthday! Here's to the next fifteen years of shenanigans! Muhahahahaha......
Wanna see a great art show and meet a great artist? Stop by the Wiley Center for Art between 5-7pm for an admission-free gallery exhibition featuring the colorful paintings of Bloomfeild artist Wyatt LeGrande
. I've met Wyatt once, he was extremely friendly and easy to talk to. His style is different than most of the work that hangs in the gallery, and I'm looking forward to meeting a few of my friends there to see the gallery filled with his bright work. If you're cool I'll see you there!Special thank-you to Wyatt for sharing some images of his work with me so my blog post is much prettier! The Wiley Center for Art is located in Bedford on the corner of 14th and J streets. It's a little white house that has been relocated to a parking lot one block north of the square. Plenty of parking, drinks and other refreshments will be available!
How do I even begin?This was my third year attending The Trashion ReFashion Show, an annual fundraising event for the Center for Sustainable Living and Discardia. Each year, dozens of designs are submitted, reviewed and chosen for walking down the runway on Earth Day weekend in April. The last two years, this event has been held at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on Kirkwood Ave and the 2013 event nearly sold out.What's so fun about watching unwanted materials and trash walk down a runway?My answer to that? ALL OF IT. It's all fun.From the creative designers to the friendly models, the giggling kids, the talented performers, the responsive audience to the clever crew and beautiful venue, this event has quickly and easily become special in my heart and a favorite on my annual calendar. Next year will be year five, it'll be on Earth Day weekend I'm sure....mark your calendars NOW!I'm having a hard time deciding the best way to blog about this event, part of me wants to comment about each piece I've photographed. Each of these designs have a great story behind them, as well as elements to their creations that made me laugh out loud in surprise. These designers have utilized materials and things you might not otherwise use to make these VERY unique fashion statements during this inspirational event.(You may view most all of these images larger by selecting them.)
Jefferson St. Parade Band
I just love these guys. They're fun, they're all friendly, they've been at this event every year I've attended, and they set the show off with a great mood. Moments before the show officially began, the Jefferson St. Parade Band
played on the sidewalk outside the Buskirk-Chumley theater for the entertainment of guests and those passing by. Their funky sound makes it impossible to miss the beginning of the show, and personally I was thrilled to see them again.
By now, my followers have realized that I love Jealousy Jane
and work pretty closely with designer Sheila Ferguson on most all of her shoots and events. She doesn't need my help coming up with gown concepts, as she proved to me by producing these two fabulous pieces specifically for this 2013 Trashion/ReFashion event. My husband and I were both on Skype with Sheila when she had just picked up the afghans for the dress Leah Rae Kinder modeled, and to be honest, we didn't even try to hide how ugly we thought they were, and I teased her about the challenge she gave herself in a way that only your best friends can get by with. I was most certainly not expecting this huge, bulbous, fascinating conceptual garment that came about a week later to my text messages, and just like that....I was back to being blown away by my friend's vision and talent. For the gown Keragan wore for Trashion, Sheila cut up discarded materials and scrap fabrics and hand-stitched each one to a donated bridesmaid's gown (Thanks Lauren!!! Who would've thought, right!?) Keragan has to step into the gown, and I noticed that due to the weight of the skirt, Sheila re-enforced the straps to the gown for more trusting support.
Keragan makes anything she wears timeless, and our MUA's Annie and Chyrese cut scraps from the skirt and patched them together near her hairline to complete that bizarre dimensional accessory look Jealousy Jane is becoming well-known for.Both of Jealousy Jane's gowns submitted and shown for this event weigh about 45 lbs, and both girls needed an assistant to get up and down the stairs throughout the venue.
At my home, these gowns waited patiently for their debut at the April 21st event, and we had to bear hug each of these pieces to be able to move them from one place to the other. Keragan's ball gown took up two seats in the car. Leah's took up almost the entire trunk, leaving just enough room for the box of make-up and hot rollers. Being responsible for these two gowns has been comparable to being responsible for ten gowns at a 'regular' runway event in that they take up tons of room, weigh as much as one of my kids, and can't touch the ground until they walk the runway. The audience responded with gasps and applause when each of these gowns made their entrance on stage, I about cried I was so proud of Sheila and so thrilled that they both conjured up such a great reaction from the audience. Sheila, I will have to say, if big bulky gowns are going to be all the rage for Jealousy Jane coming up, we MIGHT need to invest in a trailer to haul them around...
Another personal friend of mine, Amy Patrick, participated as a designer for the first time with this group, showing off a punk-rock design she made from clothes she had from her high school days (NOT very long ago, for the record). Modeled by our friend and Bedford local Kara Ratcliff, taking the place of MUA favorite Annie Patrick who couldn't walk due to a neck injury. Lisa Sego and Chyrese Gil did hair and make-up respectively for our whole crew, our team is just fantastic and so much fun to be around, I hope the other designers that participate in this event have just as much fun as we do every time we get together for a runway show. To view our pre-game images, follow this link and scroll past the runway images and you'll see our images from the salon and backstage
. Or, if you're into multi-media, try to find some of the 6 second videos we were uploading to Vine
ReFashion.ReFashion was the first portion of the runway event, featuring clothing that has been made by discarded or unwanted materials. Curtains, bedsheets, old bridesmaid dresses, outdated prom gowns, tablecloths, and hand-me-downs were all willing participants for a new life as an Eco-friendly fashion statement. Some of these designs I would wear if I had them, some of them are inspirational, all of them fantastic. Beginning with the child models/designers, we started with a little doll skipping down the runway in a rose petal style dress made completely from bedding, then we graduated to the adult designs like the one Bo Taritas is wearing to the right, designed by Jeanne Smith, who has become one of my new friends specifically through this event. Fellow photographer and great friend to me, James Minshall of Minshall Collective in Bedford, sat next to me and cheered on his daughter as she paraded down the runway in a scarf-wrap dress she made all on her own, complete with a beaded halter closure. I'm around her enough to puff out my chest just a little bit when she strutted to the marks at the end of the runway. I'm really excited that there are such young designers included, especially since I heard they are NOT hurting for design entries! You know how passionate I can be about including the youth!
To talk about some of the other designs during the ReFashion portion of the show, I'll start with the bright blue dress worn by the pretty blonde. This gown was once a dress that belonged to her grandmother, she remade it to be more modern, and in the script read by the emcee Yael Ksander, she shared with us that her grandmother has Alzheimer's, and that even though she couldn't get first hand stories about the gown from her grandmother, she felt close to her by being able to make new memories while wearing it. It reminded me of the entire line Sheila worked on last Spring for my own daughter, Daron Frances, turning dresses that were once mine into darling pieces for my third grader, one of which once belonged to Daron's grandmother Marsha who is no longer with us. I couldn't help but to think of these garments during this designer/model's appearance, and I really hope re-using hand-me-downs like this catches on like fire. Seeing these garments come to life once more on my child makes me tear up just thinking about it.
I'll go get a Kleenex while you check out some of the other images I captured from the fourth row of the ReFashion portion of this event.
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Trashion designs are ones that are made from straight up trash or obviously unwanted materials, and can include anything from those little $1 plastic table clothes you get for birthday parties, to plastic grocery bags, trash bags, tin lids from cat food cans, corks, duct tape, and newspapers. The design to the left is obviously made from ballet slippers, and in the moment I have to admit I was completely too caught up in the slippers and dangling ribbons to realize that her top was made from the worn out soles of ballet slippers.
Have you ever eaten at Rachel's Cafe? If so, you might have been aiding Rachel to make her fabulous Domino sugar two-piece outfit, she shows off how fabulous it all is at the end of the runway. My husband's favorite was Queen Indiana, see if you can figure out which design that is on your own! Sister gowns that were made from tape and discarded sheet music made me want to give a standing ovation, and someone, PLEASE lend me that lime green and red design when I'm small enough to wear it!
Did you see the bright blue sexy rubber dress? When the emcee announced the materials used for that particular design, the crowd let out a resounding "Oh!" and then erupted in well-deserved applause. (I absolutely love it when that happens!!!) Where did that material come from? Thanks to her cat, she had a freshly popped yoga ball to work with, turning shreds of blue trash into a head-turning outfit.
WHO COMES UP WITH THIS STUFF!?!? Simply awesome.
Now, I did not photograph every design that walked down the runway, if you have images posted of entries that I do not, feel free to share a link to your public album in a comment below! There is so much more that can be said about this event and these designs. The crew is wonderful, and they bring the fun and laughs during the intermission game "Gail Kincaid memorial Trashion-Off Design competition", a gesture that brings tears to my eyes even though I only knew her briefly after our 2011 participation simply because her impact on this Trashion community was obviously a big one.
Maybe it's just me and my shameless behavior, but I felt like even the audience members were friendly and open, I shared laughs and comments with several around me before, during and after the show. I know I've said it a few times in this post, but it's been so rare in my experiences to be working with such a LARGE group of people, and to find NOT EVEN ONE sour mood the entire day. As someone who's produced a small number of events myself, that is something definitely worth bringing up. When that can be said about a production as large as this one is becoming, then YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT, and the RIGHT PEOPLE are involved. I really could just ramble on about this event...Let's just cut to the comment section and I'll keep it going! Did you go? Do you wish you would've gone? Designer? Model? A participant in a different way? Which designs are your favorites? Can you figure out what these designs are made from?Congratulations to EVERYONE involved on another successful year for Trashion/ReFashion!!!
I cannot wait for next year!To view my coverage of this event in it's entirety, visit this link. You may share links to any of these files to social networks
and even purchase prints if you'd like. If you'd like to download a high-res file for yourself, please contact me directly
. Thank you for visiting my site!